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Author Topic: Monosodium Glutamate....Why need it ?  (Read 7156 times)

Offline neilep

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Monosodium Glutamate....Why need it ?
« on: 16/03/2007 01:02:00 »
Quite surprised just now to see MSG as a flavour enhancer in a  packet of crisps (US-Chips).

I mean...why do they put it in ?..why use it at all in any type of food preparation ?...are the flavours not strong enough ?..if not..then why use a flavour enhancer ?...why not just use stronger/more flavours in the first place ?

What exactly does MSG do ?...does it effect the food or MY ability to taste it ?


 

Offline Karen W.

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Monosodium Glutamate....Why need it ?
« Reply #1 on: 16/03/2007 01:43:14 »
It does seem to enhance flavor, I like it, but It gives me migraines so I cannot use it. I have often wondered also about why they use it otherwise, for awhile it was in tons of chineese food! It has a flavor or draws out flavor. I used it with garlic and such on pork chops for years but found out it was a source of migraines for me.
 

another_someone

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Monosodium Glutamate....Why need it ?
« Reply #2 on: 16/03/2007 01:44:10 »
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/monosodium-glutamate/AN01251
Quote
Monosodium glutamate (MSG): What is it and is it harmful?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that is "generally recognized as safe," the use of MSG remains controversial.

MSG has been used as a food additive for decades. Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG. But subsequent research found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and the symptoms that some people described after eating food containing MSG. As a result, MSG is still added to some foods.

A comprehensive review of all available scientific data on glutamate safety sponsored by the FDA in 1995 reaffirmed the safety of MSG when consumed at levels typically used in cooking and food manufacturing. The report found no evidence to suggest that MSG contributes to any long-term health problems, such as Alzheimer's disease. But it did acknowledge that some people may have short-term reactions to MSG. These reactions — known as MSG symptom complex — may include:

  • Headache, sometimes called MSG headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Sense of facial pressure or tightness
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in or around the mouth
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms are usually mild and don't require treatment. However, some people report more severe reactions. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing MSG. When MSG is added to food, the FDA requires that "monosodium glutamate" be listed on the label — or on the menu, in restaurants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monosodium_glutamate
Quote
Discovery

Despite its ubiquity in common food products, the flavour contributions made by glutamate and other amino acids were only scientifically identified early in the twentieth century. In 1907, Japanese researcher Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University identified brown crystals left behind after the evaporation of a large amount of kombu broth as glutamic acid. These crystals, when tasted, reproduced the ineffable but undeniable flavour he detected in many foods, most especially in seaweed. Professor Ikeda termed this flavour "umami." He then patented a method of mass-producing a crystalline form of glutamic acid, MSG.

Commercialization

The Ajinomoto (味の素) company was formed to manufacture and market MSG in Japan; the name 'Ajinomoto' means "essence of taste". It was introduced to the United States in 1947 as Ac'cent flavor enhancer.

Modern commercial MSG is produced by fermentation[2] of starch, sugar beets, sugar cane, or molasses. About 1.5 million metric tons were sold in 2001, with 4% annual growth expected.[3] MSG is used commercially as a flavour enhancer. Once stereotypically associated with food in Chinese restaurants, it is now more often found in many of the most common food products consumed in the US:

  • most canned soups of the US food industry like Campbell's (except the low sodium varieties)
  • most beef and chicken stocks of the US food industry like Swansons (except the low sodium varieties)
  • most flavored potato chip products of the US food industry, like Laura Scudders
  • many other snack foods
  • many frozen dinners
  • instant meals such as the seasoning mixtures for instant noodles.
 

Offline neilep

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Monosodium Glutamate....Why need it ?
« Reply #3 on: 16/03/2007 01:52:13 »
It does seem to enhance flavor, I like it, but It gives me migraines so I cannot use it. I have often wondered also about why they use it otherwise, for awhile it was in tons of chineese food! It has a flavor or draws out flavor. I used it with garlic and such on pork chops for years but found out it was a source of migraines for me.

Ewe mean ewe actually purchased the stuff and used it ?...woo !...I am certainly aware of it's history with asian cuisine in restaurants but never knew of anyone who used it domestically !...I am glad ewe don't ewes it anymore !....
 

Offline neilep

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Monosodium Glutamate....Why need it ?
« Reply #4 on: 16/03/2007 01:57:23 »
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/monosodium-glutamate/AN01251
Quote
Monosodium glutamate (MSG): What is it and is it harmful?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that is "generally recognized as safe," the use of MSG remains controversial.

MSG has been used as a food additive for decades. Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG. But subsequent research found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and the symptoms that some people described after eating food containing MSG. As a result, MSG is still added to some foods.

A comprehensive review of all available scientific data on glutamate safety sponsored by the FDA in 1995 reaffirmed the safety of MSG when consumed at levels typically used in cooking and food manufacturing. The report found no evidence to suggest that MSG contributes to any long-term health problems, such as Alzheimer's disease. But it did acknowledge that some people may have short-term reactions to MSG. These reactions known as MSG symptom complex may include:

  • Headache, sometimes called MSG headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Sense of facial pressure or tightness
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in or around the mouth
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms are usually mild and don't require treatment. However, some people report more severe reactions. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing MSG. When MSG is added to food, the FDA requires that "monosodium glutamate" be listed on the label or on the menu, in restaurants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monosodium_glutamate
Quote
Discovery

Despite its ubiquity in common food products, the flavour contributions made by glutamate and other amino acids were only scientifically identified early in the twentieth century. In 1907, Japanese researcher Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University identified brown crystals left behind after the evaporation of a large amount of kombu broth as glutamic acid. These crystals, when tasted, reproduced the ineffable but undeniable flavour he detected in many foods, most especially in seaweed. Professor Ikeda termed this flavour "umami." He then patented a method of mass-producing a crystalline form of glutamic acid, MSG.

Commercialization

The Ajinomoto (味の素) company was formed to manufacture and market MSG in Japan; the name 'Ajinomoto' means "essence of taste". It was introduced to the United States in 1947 as Ac'cent flavor enhancer.

Modern commercial MSG is produced by fermentation[2] of starch, sugar beets, sugar cane, or molasses. About 1.5 million metric tons were sold in 2001, with 4% annual growth expected.[3] MSG is used commercially as a flavour enhancer. Once stereotypically associated with food in Chinese restaurants, it is now more often found in many of the most common food products consumed in the US:

  • most canned soups of the US food industry like Campbell's (except the low sodium varieties)
  • most beef and chicken stocks of the US food industry like Swansons (except the low sodium varieties)
  • most flavored potato chip products of the US food industry, like Laura Scudders
  • many other snack foods
  • many frozen dinners
  • instant meals such as the seasoning mixtures for instant noodles.

THANK YOU George.......

Even though it seems to be a  'natural ' product I appreciate this information muchly.

I wish there was no need for it......I would prefer my flavours non enhanced !.......though it does seem ubiquitous in nature and unavoidable !!

 

Offline Karen W.

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Monosodium Glutamate....Why need it ?
« Reply #5 on: 16/03/2007 03:06:15 »
It does seem to enhance flavor, I like it, but It gives me migraines so I cannot use it. I have often wondered also about why they use it otherwise, for awhile it was in tons of chineese food! It has a flavor or draws out flavor. I used it with garlic and such on pork chops for years but found out it was a source of migraines for me.

Ewe mean ewe actually purchased the stuff and used it ?...woo !...I am certainly aware of it's history with asian cuisine in restaurants but never knew of anyone who used it domestically !...I am glad ewe don't ewes it anymore !....

Yes you can still purchase it on the spice shelf bottled under MSG same size containers as other spice, although I haven't bought any for years. Me is also glad I quit using it as I thought i was dying, I was having migraines several times a week due to this stuff. Once I stopped the headaches ceased! I get one once in a blue moon after eating out. but not regularly, most of my migraines and they are few these days are from sleeping with the wrong pillow and getting my head all discombobbled and tilted backwards in the night! Excrutiating headahes.. So anyway No more MSG!!
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Monosodium Glutamate....Why need it ?
« Reply #6 on: 16/03/2007 21:36:43 »
"Quite surprised just now to see MSG as a flavour enhancer in a  packet of crisps (US-Chips).

I mean...why do they put it in ?..why use it at all in any type of food preparation ?...are the flavours not strong enough ?..if not..then why use a flavour enhancer ?...why not just use stronger/more flavours in the first place ?

What exactly does MSG do ?...does it effect the food or MY ability to taste it ?"
The simple answer is money. It's cheaper to put MSG in food than to use real ingredients to produce flavoursome food.
MSG is a flavour enhancer in the same way that salt is and it has similar effects so yes, it alters you.
Of course the traditional aproach might be to add parmesan cheese or soy sauce- both great sources of MSG.
« Last Edit: 16/03/2007 21:38:14 by Bored chemist »
 

another_someone

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Monosodium Glutamate....Why need it ?
« Reply #7 on: 17/03/2007 07:58:40 »
Even though it seems to be a  'natural ' product I appreciate this information muchly.

The delineation between natural and artificial is itself very artificial (now, does that not sound like a paradox in the making :)).
 

another_someone

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Monosodium Glutamate....Why need it ?
« Reply #8 on: 17/03/2007 08:13:22 »
The simple answer is money. It's cheaper to put MSG in food than to use real ingredients to produce flavoursome food.

The simple answer is money, as it is with all things, but that answer is neither so simple.

Firstly, it is not only about the cost of the ingredients, but also the shelf life of the product (yes, that too is money, since a longer shelf life will reduce wastage).  Artificial flavours that contain no substantial nutritional value will not provide sufficient nutrients for bacteria to grow (any more than they will provide much nutrient for humans) so will increase the shelf life of the product when compared to a more balanced nutritional foundation that is also more nutritious for bacteria.

Secondly, the saving of money is not only an issue for the food producers, but also for the customers (who will decide to buy the packet that costs less) and the government (who are desperate to hold down the rate of inflation).

MSG is a flavour enhancer in the same way that salt is and it has similar effects so yes, it alters you.
Of course the traditional aproach might be to add parmesan cheese or soy sauce- both great sources of MSG.

The addition of salt as a preservative and flavour enhancer is very traditional.

As for soy sauce - I cannot tolerate that particularly well (although I do like Parmesan cheese in the right context).
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Monosodium Glutamate....Why need it ?
« Reply #9 on: 17/03/2007 11:10:22 »
I can't say I have checked but I wonder if cheese flavour crisps (made with real cheese and hence not suitable for vegetarians) have a shorter shelf life than "beef" flavour (totally artificial and vegetarian). In the case of crisps I think they are so dry that preservatives are not an issue (the salt may help with that). My best guess is the shelf life is determined by the fats going rancid. But anyway, you are right it's never simple and it is the consumer who makes the choice.
(BTW, I thought that inflation was down to the money supply and was therefore comletely in the hands of the government anyway)
 

another_someone

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Monosodium Glutamate....Why need it ?
« Reply #10 on: 17/03/2007 11:51:23 »
(BTW, I thought that inflation was down to the money supply and was therefore comletely in the hands of the government anyway)

Inflation is down to the prices people are willing, or able, to pay for goods.

What restricting money supply does is that it reduces the amount of money in people's pockets, so people are not able to buy expensive goods, thus forcing them to choose the cheaper goods, thus forcing down prices.

Ofcourse, people in this case is a broad category, and include companies and institutions as well (they all represent consumers of goods in one way or another, and so all influence the price of goods).
« Last Edit: 17/03/2007 12:03:54 by another_someone »
 

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Monosodium Glutamate....Why need it ?
« Reply #10 on: 17/03/2007 11:51:23 »

 

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